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Urban Form Development's 509-unit project would replace Cedar Hills Shopping Center in Beaverton

PMG PHOTO: STEPHANIE BASALYGA - Stacy Connery, a planner and project manager with Pacific Community Design, explains to attendees at a July 8 public meeting the details of 509-unit, mixed-use development that Urban Form Development is proposing to replace Cedar Hills Shopping Center.

A Vancouver, Washington, developer wants to replace a Beaverton-area shopping center with a 509-unit, mixed-use development.

Urban Form Development is on track to submit a proposal to the City of Beaverton to demolish buildings at Cedar Hills Shopping Center and replace them with buildings containing a total of 58,412 square feet of retail along with a mix of residential units.

Preliminary plans call for the construction of six buildings, a public plaza, installation of sidewalks and improvements to surrounding streets. However, many details of the proposed project are still being hammered out, Stacy Connery, a planner and project manager with Pacific Community Design, told a crowd who filled a room at Cedar Hills Recreation center for a public meeting on Monday, July 8.

While the developer is leaning toward studios and one- and two-bedroom apartments, for example, there has been no decision made about whether condominiums might be included, Connery said. There's also no decision yet about whether there will be an affordable component, although a similar project the developer has under construction on a former shopping center site in Beaverton's west end consists entirely of market-rate studios and one- and two-bedroom apartments (see sidebar).

What is known is that the project will not include a lot that contains an empty building that formerly housed a gas station on the corner of Southwest Park Way and Southwest Marlow Street. The owner of that property was not interested in selling the land or having it included in the development, according to Connery.

The project also would include new 14-foot sidewalks along main streets around the development and public plazas with outdoor seating, and the shopping center's existing "Cedar Hills" sign would be preserved and incorporated in the new development.

PMG PHOTO: STEPHANIE BASALYGA - The city of Beaverton annexed the Cedar Hills Shopping Center into the city as a result of a request by Urban Form Development, which plans on buying the property for a mixed-use development.The city of Beaverton annexed the land on which the shopping center sits into the city at the request of the developer. The city currently is working with Washington County to determine whether ownership of surrounding streets will be transferred to the city.

Parking priorities

As part of a plan to create "station communities" with high-density or affordable housing near places with easy access to light rail platforms, the shopping center has been on the city's radar for approximately 20 years as an area ripe for eventual redevelopment, Connery said.

The shopping center is a less than 10-minute walk to the Sunset Transit Center, according to people who live in the area. However, that close proximity to public transportation also raised some concerns for neighbors when it came to the issue of on-site parking for the proposed development.

Because the transit center has limited parking in an associated garage, riders often park their cars in the shopping center and along surface streets. That often leaves people in the neighborhood short on places to park, meeting attendees said.

Connery said a traffic consultant is still determining how many parking spaces will be proposed as part of the development, but estimated the number would likely be between 600 and 700.

"There will be enough parking," she told the audience.

In addition, J. Peterkort Co. has received approval from the Beaverton Planning Commission to build a 460-stall surface parking lot with a guard house on approximately 5.5 acres adjacent to the Sunrise Transit Center, according to city of Beaverton documents. The parking lot, according to the documents, will serve as a temporary park-and-ride for transit users until J. Peterkort Co. is ready to move forward with plans to use the lot as part of what is currently described in city documents as a mixed-use development with 988 residential units and 60,000-square feet of commercial space.

"(Peterkort) states that the proposed (parking lot) is intended as an interim use until such time as the intended high-density, mixed-use development is constructed on the ... parcel," city staff wrote in a staff report dated March 6.

Plans for the parking lot call for 260 stalls to be built during a first phase of construction. The remaining 200 stalls would be built in a second phase that is contingent on Peterkort beginning work on the 988-unit development by November, as required by a final Planned Unit Development extension the company received from the city in 2017, according to an article in the April issue of the Cedar Mill News.

Retail ready

While Connery estimated each building with ground-floor commercial space would accommodate an average of five tenants, she said actual space sizes are being determined as tenants sign on. Businesses currently leasing space in the shopping center are being offered a first-shot at moving into new spaces.

Two of the current tenants — Domino's and 808 Grinds — plan on making the move. At least one tenant, the Beaverton branch of Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles, will not remain.

Construction will be conducted in phases so that retail tenants will be able to move from their old spaces into newly completed retail portions without major business interruptions, Connery said.

Urban Form Development currently has no plans to provide space for a large-scale tenant such as a grocer. However, several people from the community attending the meeting requested the developer consider bringing in at least one tenant that would provide fresh produce and food options for shoppers.

The developer is in the process of compiling a planning application, with would likely be submitted by end of this month or early next month. Public hearings and a city decision could be handed down by this fall, followed by six to nine months of final design work on the project. However, construction could start and wrap up anywhere from 18 months to three to four years down the road, according to Connery.

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